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Friday, January 15: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 15, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

Click to view today’s Santa Anita Workout Report

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 6-Lookin So Lucky; 7-Acoustic Shadow

Forecast: Acoustic Shadows drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and switches to F. Prat, so based on those two angles alone the L. Powell-trained filly should be hard to beat in a modest turf miler. She’s fast enough on pure numbers to win and should get the patient ride she appears to prefer. Lookin So Lucky exits the same race as ‘Shadows and actually finished ahead of her chief rival in that early January affair, winding up fifth after pressing the issue to the top of the lane. While we don’t expect her to be on the lead today, the A. Barba-trained filly is a fit on figures and projects to draft into a comfortable stalking position and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. In a race that offers little wagering value, both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post: 1:02 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Alvaaro; 3-Stackin Silver

Forecast: Stackin Silver, away since last April and plummeting in class, returns as a first-time gelding, gets in light due to the presence of bug girl J. Pyfer, and hails from a barn that has superior stats with layoff runners. The Union Rags gelding should be part of the pace throughout – maybe even on the lead – and with a prior win over this track and distance the R. Baltas-trained 4-year-old may be the one to beat. Alvaaro easily handled a $16,000 restricted (nw-2) field last month at this trip and should be tough right back despite the relatively quick turnaround. From his 2-hole draw the son of Old Fashioned may be sent to establish the running, though the option to stalk and pounce is available if ‘Silver is committed to be the controlling speed. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 3: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: B+
Single: 5-Fat Stacks

Forecast: Let’s take a stand and single the second-timer starter Fat Stacks, who performed admirably in his debut when finishing second at Del Mar sprinting on grass in November and seems likely to step forward in this six furlong maiden special weight turf dash for older straight maidens. The son of Drosselomeyer stayed on nicely and then galloped out far in front in that race, so we suspect today’s extra furlong will do him nothing but good. A steady, easy series of recent workouts should have him primed and ready for a barn that always does well with second timer starters, so at 3-1 on the morning line he’s likely to offer sufficient wagering value.

RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: X
Single: 5-Hozier

Forecast: Hozier has trained like a very good prospect for B. Baffert and seems to have found an ideal spot to score at first asking in this six furlong main track sprint for maiden 3-year-olds. The son of Pioneerof the Nile, purchased as a Saratoga yearling for $625,000, displayed good speed and plenty of quality in a pair of recent gate works, so we’ll prefer him over stable mate Concert Tour, who also should get plenty of play but truthfully hasn’t been as impressive in the morning. We’ll make Hozier a rolling exotic single but at 6/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower there’s not much else we can do with him.

RACE 5: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Mischiffie; 3-Posit

Forecast: This $40,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares should boil down to two main players. Posit, a first-off-the-claim play for V. Cerin (always dangerous with this angle) returns waiver protected in her first outing in 10 months and has trained well enough to be plenty fit for a big effort off the bench. Most effective on or near the lead and with a prior win over the local lawn, the daughter of Cairo Prince catches a field without too much early zip so she should have her chance from a pace-pressing/forcing position. Mischiffie vans down from Golden Gate Fields, where she has been training steadily waiting for a chance to run after joining the high-percentage J. Martin barn. A two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the veteran Irish-bred mare can be tough on the lead or from a stalking position and has run well fresh in the past. We’ll give Posit the edge on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post: 3:04 PT Grade: B
Single: 2-Naansense

Forecast: We’ll single Naansense in this woeful maiden $20,000 claiming miler for older fillies and mares simply because there’s nothing else in here to embrace. Lightly-raced (just two starts) and theoretically with more room to improve than the others, the daughter of Bayern has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern, exits a much tougher race, and makes a pivotal jockey switch to J. Rosario. The D. O’Neill-trained filly projects as the controlling speed, and in race with no dangerous closing types she should have every chance to dominate gate-to-wire.

RACE 7: Post: 3:34 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Ohio; 6-Sombeyay

Forecast: Sombeyay is an East Coast invader with form in graded stakes company last year that makes him the one to beat in this third level allowance grass miler for older horses. In a race that projects to be slowly run early, the son of Into Mischief should either be on the lead or comfortably placed in a stalking position under F. Prat while enjoying the type of trip that has produced his best results. The P. Miller/F. Prat is as potent a trainer/jockey combo as there is (41%, strong flat-bet profit). Ohio, now 10-years-old but still willing and able, returns for his first start in 10 months and certainly has a right to be a bit rusty, but the Brazilian-bred gelding is a former Grade-1 winner over this course and distance and the works say he should be ready for a good effort, though he may be a race away from being dead tight. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Sombeyay on top.

RACE 8: Post: 4:04 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Gryffindor; 6-Rideo; 9-R Cha Cha

Forecast: The Friday nightcap is a messy $10,000 middle distance main track affair for older horses that requires a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Gryffindor is just 2-for-29 during his career but the good news is that both of those victories were accomplished over the Santa Anita main track. He drops to his lowest level ever but is facing open (as opposed to restricted) company, so this isn’t necessarily an easier group than he’s been facing. However, on pure numbers he’s a fit and he’s likely to benefit from the switch to hot-riding J. J. Hernandez. Rideo, unraced since late October due to the temporary closer of Golden Gate Fields, finds a suitable spot for the high-percentage J. Martin barn and should be a live item following a clever synthetic track score up north. While that victory came against a softer $5,000 field, the son of Candy Ride earned a number that projects to be quite competitive on the raise. R Cha Cha gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy A. Centeno and may employ front-running tactics, though there are others who might have the same game plan. Twice a winner over the Santa Anita main track, the veteran gelding can act with this group on his best day and is worth throwing in.